Ask a Question forum: Are these good guys on Asclepias Curassavica

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Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 7:41 AM CST
I'm think this is a monarch caterpillar on this plant but I'm not sure about all these little yellow guys. At first I thought they were eggs but I can see them moving.
I really want to help this plant survive, I could use some advice on whether I should leave them alone on pick them off.


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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 13, 2017 8:17 AM CST
They are aphids, they feed on the plant's sap. If you can pick them off without harming the caterpillar the plant would appreciate it.
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 9:28 AM CST
Thank you so much. that's what I was afraid of. Aphids seem to love my garden. I will deal them immediately.
N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
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Tisha
Aug 13, 2017 11:10 AM CST
honeyx4
APHIDS LOVE EVERYTHING! Thumbs down
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 13, 2017 11:19 AM CST
The middle picture is particularly good because one can clearly see the cornicles that identify them as aphids. The cornicles are the black projections from their rear ends, sometimes aptly referred to as "tailpipes". In the case of this particular species the body is yellow and the cornicles are black, making them very easy to distinguish - plus the picture is nice and sharp.
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 11:29 AM CST
All those lizards in my yard need to get busy.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 13, 2017 11:30 AM CST
honeyx4 said:I'm think this is a monarch caterpillar on this plant...
Thumb of 2017-08-13/honeyx4/d851f2


The lovely fat one in the first photo is the monarch cat; all the others are the aphids. If you can carefully direct a spray of water from the garden hose to shoot off the aphids without disturbing the cat, it would be a good thing. Do you have a garden helper who could shield the cat while you shoot the water?

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 11:36 AM CST
sooby said:The middle picture is particularly good because one can clearly see the cornicles that identify them as aphids. The cornicles are the black projections from their rear ends, sometimes aptly referred to as "tailpipes". In the case of this particular species the body is yellow and the cornicles are black, making them very easy to distinguish - plus the picture is nice and sharp.


I used a 50mm 2.0 lens and I was able to get really close. They are such creepy little things. They almost look cartoonish. Seeing them moving is what alerted me to the fact that they probably weren't eggs.
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 11:41 AM CST
greene said:

The lovely fat one in the first photo is the monarch cat; all the others are the aphids. If you can carefully direct a spray of water from the garden hose to shoot off the aphids without disturbing the cat, it would be a good thing. Do you have a garden helper who could shield the cat while you shoot the water?


I don't have a helper but I did go out with a sprayer and I was very careful. They were very tenacious though. I had to scrape some of them off. But the "cat" was there when I finished, I was very careful to avoid him. I have two of these plants and the other one has smaller "cat" and aphids. I I removed as many aphids as I could off both plants.

Will soapy water harm the "cat"?
N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
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Tisha
Aug 13, 2017 11:42 AM CST
Do lizards eat caterpillars?
Sorry. Don`t know if I don`t ask.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 13, 2017 11:43 AM CST
honeyx4 said:

I used a 50mm 2.0 lens and I was able to get really close. They are such creepy little things. They almost look cartoonish. Seeing them moving is what alerted me to the fact that they probably weren't eggs.


Honey, maybe you would be interested in this thread:

The thread "In search of pictures" in Site Talk forum

Edited to add - yours are most likely Oleander aphids, Aphis nerii:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/...
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 13, 2017 11:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 11:49 AM CST
Tisha said:Do lizards eat caterpillars?
Sorry. Don`t know if I don`t ask.


Probably, I don't know for sure. I see them eating other bugs though they don't seem to be controlling the aphids very well.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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greene
Aug 13, 2017 11:50 AM CST
I would not use soapy water on a plant where the caterpillar is eating. Plain water should work well enough to knock down the aphid population.

Oh, and I once had a lovely caterpillar and was eagerly watching it grow - until it became a snack for a bird. I wish I had put a chicken wire enclosure to protect the cat. D'Oh!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Aug 13, 2017 12:03 PM CST
Yeah, watching that food chain in real time can be a challenge sometimes
N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
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Tisha
Aug 13, 2017 12:14 PM CST
Sighing! It`s there for a reason, our Mother Nature Lovey dubby

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